Avoid large gatherings in courtrooms – CJ directs judges, magistrates

The Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Anin Yeboah, has directed courts in the country to allow only parties and witnesses in cases listed to be heard on particular dates into courtrooms to avoid large gatherings.

The move forms part of efforts to contain and stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A statement issued and signed by Justice Yeboah and copied the Ghanaian Times said, the directive was in compliance with the orders by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to institutions to institute measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Justice Yeboah asked judges and magistrates to adjourn cases to specific times on given dates, to  limit the number of people that would be allowed into the courtroom, adding that cause lists should be reduced drastically for few cases to be listed for hearing.

He urged judges and magistrates to only hear cases which are of extreme urgency and as far as possible, exercise great restraint in remanding accused persons, in order to avoid overcrowding the prisons and police cells.

Justice Yeboah directed judges and magistrates to suspend the hearing of cases involving the movement of convicted and remand prisoners from the prisons to the courts.

With regards to criminal appeals, he directed the courts to dispense with the appearance of the appellants who are in prison custody.

The Chief Justice said sanitisers are being provided for court users and arrangements are being made to have the courtrooms regularly disinfected to avert infection.

He said in order to protect the staff of the Judicial Service and the public and those who would interact with them, steps had been taken to provide them with face masks, gloves and sanitisers.

“The Judiciary requests the cooperation of all court users and the general public in the implementation of these arrangements,” the statement concluded.


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